Saturday, 23 August 2014

Chennai Needs A Change!

It is such a coincidence that I am blogging about my native city, Chennai, in consecutive days. Yesterday Chennai turned 375. That is indeed an achievement!. . . And here I am blogging about it for, like the N-th time. My previous Chennai posts have always centered around the positive qualities and aspects of the Chennai way-of-life. My A-Z challenge is proof of that. One can even google about it. But then, like any other metropolitan city in India, Chennai is plagued by certain problems that still continue to tarnish its image. That is why I decided to talk about it, instead of the usual glorifying posts.

Over the years, Chennai has undergone a massive change and expansion. From being a former important British administrative centre, it has now turned into a bustling city, home to around 4.7 million people excluding sub-urban areas. Chennai does have some proud tags such as:  "The Detroit of Asia", "The Gateway to South India", "Health Capital of India" etc; And of course it is the land of Rajinikanth and AR Rahman. Yet, I am not completely happy about it.

There is only one so-called negative thing about Chennai that can't be changed. Yeah, I am talking about the unique, torrid climate of Chennai throughout the year. People always complain about it. But we, natives have got used to it. But there are other negative things that can be changed, but haven't. Atleast not yet properly implemented.

The Cooum (Source: THE HINDU)
The first and foremost stinking thing about Chennai I would like to talk about is the Cooum. Now, many people relate the Cooum with Chennai. It makes me sad when they relate it to a bad thing. The Cooum is a small river that meanders through Chennai and the stench from it is overwhelming that one can't stand near the fringes of it even for 5 minutes. The government did announce a mega prjoect for Cooum river restoration, allocating a whopping Rs. 3834 /- crore. But we are yet to see the fruits of it. As of now, the river still has its stinking glory. I only hope the Cooum turns into something like this in the below picture. I know, it is too much to expect :P


The second thing that is a menace for the people is the quality of air in Chennai, especially the city areas. When I talk about quality of air, I also refer to the usual traffic congestion that occurs in arterial roads which is one of the main causes. The number of private vehicles has increased exponentially in the last decade and I myself could see the change in the course of my childhood. Though the city has a sort of good green cover for an Indian city, I don't think it is enough. As you can see in the below pictures, the traffic is very much.

This is a problem that can be changed only with the change in the mindsets of the people. Public transport is there for a reason. Do use them. 

The construction of the Metro Rail has further aggravated the situation. The smoke billowing from the exhausts of automobiles and motorbikes are very much toxic. No amount of covering the face would protect one's health. 

Traffic also brings another issue to my mind. The way the people drive is of utmost carelessness. They end up with unnecessary accidents. It is like a race in city roads. I have seen people riding bikes in a curvy zig-zag manner, cruising to the front. I don't understand the point in hurrying. If you are so obsessed with time, you should start early from the source. The rash driving not affects the drivers but also the pedestrians and damage to public property.

The final problem with Chennai, I think, is to do with the unpreparedness and problems that ensue after a terrible disaster strikes. Of course, I am not doubting the social and physical infrastructure. But we have to be ready for anything. The 2004 tsunami and the more recent building collapse in Mugalivakkam are still fresh in our memories. It created a panic amongst people. Disaster such as these are bound to happen and so it is essential to predict the risks and manage them effectively when it happens. While Chennai is under a sort of safe Seismic Zone III, it must not be complacent. 

Kathipara Flyover!

For example, think of the massive Kathipara clover-leaf flyover. It is one of the largest in South Asia. Now supposing, an aircraft crashes on one of the viaduct or an earthquake itself occurs, imagine the picture! So firstly, structural integrity must be perfect and second if it fails, the management of the disaster must be prompt and quick with effectiveness!

Akash Govindarjan
Loyola College

Friday, 22 August 2014

Happy Birthday Chennai!

Today on the Twenty-second of August, Chennai a.k.a Madras is a whopping 375 year old city. It is a city that has shades of both modernity and ancientness. Formerly, a major British town and port, this city has expanded gradually and presently home for an odd 4.7 million people. Home to various cultures, languages, food and lifestyles, this is one rare city that also embraces the same of other nations. Defined by its hotness, many people feel that it is too hot for them.

For the past three weeks, there have been various events conducted to celebrate her birthday.

In an effort to make it a memorable birthday, Times of India started with a promotional ad of a music video "Namma Chance-ey Illa Chennai" - about Chennai, composed by 'kolaveri' star, Anirudh. Do watch the video below.

This was followed by the Hindu (alongside Murugappa Group), advertising its own music video, the "Madras song". Both the videos have gone viral over the internet. They picturise life in contemporary Chennai in a precise manner.

Last year for the A-Z challenge, I wrote 26 posts corresponding to the 26 letters of the alphabet about Chennai and its related things. You can check it out here .

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Re-Doing My Home!

Whenever we think or hear the word, Home, we instantly delve into a nostalgic mode, playing back our myriad, fond memories that took place in our home. But most often, only the bad and bitter ones are more etched in our memory and we could easily remember them, bringing a painful sting to the mind. Nevertheless, Home is the one place in the world, we can easily and effortlessly be ourselves, in the sense, we can do whatever we feel like and be our honest selves. In other places, we tend to change our behaviour and actions according to the social norms. You can dig your nose, make funny noises with your mouth or even fart, no questions asked.

Nowadays, with the population explosion and decrease in land area, builders are promoting the apartment-villa-clubhouse-vertical height home lifestyle. They promote their apartments with attractive ads that enumerates the luxurious features and amenities with an aesthetic looking graphic of the completed house. I have always liked the contemporary style of homes. After watching the TV show - Two and a Half Men, I was fantasising about a beach house of my own along the seashore, but that looks like a distant dream. Next I was thinking of homes in the zenith from the ground. First of all the view outside would be awesome and secondly the cool, serene atmosphere and of course there would be no mosquitoes. I think the following items would best accentuate the aesthetics of my ideal home.

1. Style Homez Zebra Printed Classic Bean Bag

I've always liked bean bags. They are sort of snugly. They serve a multi-purpose - to sit and sleep. Atleast I could do so. It is most suitable to watch movies or play games from a comfortable distance. The thing about it is we can stretch the material to increase the surface area for us to sit. It is also very easy to carry around. So there is the portability factor which simplifies the task of sweeping or cleaning. I liked this particular bean bag because of the attractive and aesthetic black and white colour shade. I think it adds a special aesthetic look to my home.

2. Alkemi Decor Graphical Murals/Posters Pattern 91

I have a thing for skyscrapers. I want to marvel at the sight of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai or gaze at the numerous skyscrapers of New York once. They are the most awesome real-life things made by humans. The Burj Khalifa stands at an astounding 830 meters. That is almost a kilometre. :O

My Home, being at a height, I would like to have a poster stuck on the entire side of one wall. And this poster design beside, kind of looks modern, minimalistic.

3.Aapno Rajasthan Ganapati Kalash and Diya Wood and Clay Wall Decor

 This is a wooden wall hanging Ganesha. Having an idol of Ganesha kind of completes the entire house. It is like an icing on the cake. My present home has around 20 idols of Ganesha in different colours and sizes and models. Not that I'm very religious or something. I just think it sort of completes the home. A finished look, if I may.

I do agree that, what once was defined as one of the three basic necessities of life is also becoming a brand, a subject of aesthetics, luxury etc; People do want to make their homes more attractive, whether or not they actually maintain it in a able-to-live condition.

You can click on the three titles to go to the product page, if you are interested in purchasing these for your home.

This post is a part of Makemyhome activity at

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Squirrels In "Love"!

Exams are ongoing and I'm mind-boggled with assignments, tests, practicals etc, what with being in the final year and all. Two days before, as I was having my morning coffee, I came across a rather strange yet cute thing. Every morning my mother would place some food on the top of the backyard wall. Crows and squirrels, mostly and pigeons, rarely would come without fail to eat it. First the crows would come, followed by the squirrels. Sometimes the squirrels would come in the late afternoon or in the early morning to nibble on the remnant food particles. Like this, two mornings before, I saw the usual squirrel nibbling actively on the food. After a few minutes, when I returned to the spot, what I saw shocked me, but it was a hilarious shock. The pictures would tell you why.

Click on the pictures to bring it to full size so that you can believe what you are seeing :P

All the pictures were captured from my Xperia mobile.

I went on to create a photo frame using a photo app and instagrammed it. And believe me, these two love squirrels were even kissing for a few moments but I could not capture that instant. I am still baffled about what they were actually doing, but interpreting from the various pictures leads to the obvious and this is the first time I have seen two squirrels doing it!

What do you think?


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